The Queensbridge Houses, one of the nation's largest public housing projects, is celebrating more than one year without a shooting in what Mayor de Blasio called "a year of golden silence."
In addition city-funded security in the form of lights, cameras and police protection, a coalition called 696 Queensbridge is credited with keeping the peace.
The community-based program is comprised of six members who are helping to secure the 96 buildings that make up the Queensbridge Houses, made famous by the hip-hop artist Nas, who rapped about growing up there.
Ex-convict Taylor Murphy, a member of 696 Queensbridge, says the group has a unique perspective to offer. He recalled an incident in which two young men faced off in a courtyard in the complex, brandishing guns and making threats.
"I can identify both sides of the situations, from both sides of firearms, space that most people wouldn't understand," said Murphy.
Shyism Bryant, another member of 696 Queensbridge, said, "When you give a person a chance to save face and you give them time to calm down, nine times out of 10, they really don't want to commit the violent act."
Debra Lee, who has lived in the complex for 37 years, says the difference is clear.
"I don't walk around here anymore in any fear, day or night," she said.
"Three hundred and sixty-five days, that's a bless compared to the past," said Sharin Walker.